Data Dictionary: Census 1990
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Survey: Census 1990
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: P38. Females Marital Status By Age [11]
Universe: Females 15 years and over
Table Details
P38. Females Marital Status By Age
Universe: Females 15 years and over
Variable Label
P038_001
P038_002
P038_003
P038_004
P038_005
P038_006
P038_007
P038_008
P038_009
P038_010
P038_011
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Sex
The data on sex were derived from answers to questionnaire item 3, which was asked of all persons. For most cases in which sex was not reported, it was determined by the appropriate entry from the person's given name and household relationship. Otherwise, sex was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and the age and marital status of the person. For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.

Sex Ratio
A measure derived by dividing the total number of males by the total number of females and multiplying by 100.

Comparability
A question on the sex of individuals has been asked of the total population in every census.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Marital Status
The data on marital status were derived from answers to questionnaire item 6, which was asked of all persons. The marital status classification refers to the status at the time of enumeration. Data on marital status are tabulated only for persons 15 years old and over.

All persons were asked whether they were "now married," "widowed," "divorced," "separated," or "never married." Couples who live together (unmarried persons, persons in common-law marriages) were allowed to report the marital status they considered the most appropriate.

Never Married
Includes all persons who have never been married, including persons whose only marriage(s) was annulled.

Ever Married
Includes persons married at the time of enumeration (including those separated), widowed, or divorced.

Now Married, Except Separated
Includes persons whose current marriage has not ended through widowhood, divorce, or separation (regardless of previous marital history). The category may also include couples who live together or persons in common-law marriages if they consider this category the most appropriate. In certain tabulations, currently married persons are further classified as "spouse present" or "spouse absent."

Separated
Includes persons legally separated or otherwise absent from their spouse because of marital discord. Included are persons who have been deserted or who have parted because they no longer want to live together but who have not obtained a divorce.

Widowed
Includes widows and widowers who have not remarried.
Divorced
Includes persons who are legally divorced and who have not remarried.
In selected sample tabulations, data for married and separated persons are reorganized and combined with information on the presence of the spouse in the same household.

Now Married
All persons whose current marriage has not ended by widowhood or divorce. This category includes persons defined above as "separated."

Spouse Present
Married persons whose wife or husband was enumerated as a member of the same household, including those whose spouse may have been temporarily absent for such reasons as travel or hospitalization.

Spouse Absent
Married persons whose wife or husband was not enumerated as a member of the same household. This category also includes all married persons living in group quarters.

Separated
Defined above.

Spouse Absent, Other
Married persons whose wife or husband was not enumerated as a member of the same household, excluding separated. Included is any person whose spouse was employed and living away from home or in an institution or absent in the Armed Forces.

Differences between the number of currently married males and the number of currently married females occur because of reporting differences and because some husbands and wives have their usual residence in different areas. In sample tabulations, these differences can also occur because different weights are applied to the individual's data. Any differences between the number of "now married, spouse present" males and females are due solely to sample weighting. By definition, the numbers would be the same.

When marital status was not reported, it was imputed according to the relationship to the householder and sex and age of the person. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)

Comparability
The 1990 marital status definitions are the same as those used in 1980 with the exception of the term "never married" which replaces the term "single" in tabulations. A general marital status question has been asked in every census since 1880.

Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3 on CD-ROM [machine-readable data files] / prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
 
Age
The data on age were derived from answers to questionnaire item 5, which was asked of all persons. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years as of April 1, 1990. The age response in question 5a was used normally to represent a person's age. However, when the age response was unacceptable or unavailable, a person's age was derived from an acceptable year-of-birth response in question 5b.

Data on age are used to determine the applicability of other questions for a person and to classify other characteristics in census tabulations. Age data are needed to interpret most social and economic characteristics used to plan and examine many programs and policies. Therefore, age is tabulated by single years of age and by many different groupings, such as 5-year age groups.

Some tabulations are shown by the age of the householder. These data were derived from the age responses for each householder. (For more information on householder, see the discussion under "Household Type and Relationship.")

Median Age
This measure divides the age distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median value and one-half above the value. Generally, median age is computed on the basis of more detailed age intervals than are shown in some census publications; thus, a median based on a less detailed distribution may differ slightly from a corresponding median for the same population based on a more detailed distribution. (For more information on medians, see the discussion under "Derived Measures.")

Limitation of the Data
Counts in 1970 and 1980 for persons 100 years old and over were substantially overstated. Improvements were made in the questionnaire design, in the allocation procedures, and to the respondent instruction guide to attempt to minimize this problem for the 1990 census.

Review of detailed 1990 census information indicated that respondents tended to provide their age as of the date of completion of the questionnaire, not their age as of April 1, 1990. In addition, there may have been a tendency for respondents to round their age up if they were close to having a birthday. It is likely that approximately 10 percent of persons in most age groups are actually 1 year younger. For most single years of age, the misstatements are largely offsetting. The problem is most pronounced at age 0 because persons lost to age 1 may not have been fully offset by the inclusion of babies born after April 1, 1990, and because there may have been more rounding up to age 1 to avoid reporting age as 0 years. (Age in complete months was not collected for infants under age 1.)

The reporting of age 1 year older than age on April 1, 1990, is likely to have been greater in areas where the census data were collected later in 1990. The magnitude of this problem was much less in the three previous censuses where age was typically derived from respondent data on year of birth and quarter of birth. (For more information on the design of the age question, see the section below that discusses "Comparability.")

Comparability
Age data have been collected in every census. For the first time since 1950, the 1990 data are not available by quarter year of age. This change was made so that coded information could be obtained for both age and year of birth. In each census since 1940, the age of a person was assigned when it was not reported. In censuses before 1940, with the exception of 1880, persons of unknown age were shown as a separate category. Since 1960, assignment of unknown age has been performed by a general procedure described as "imputation." The specific procedures for imputing age have been different in each census. (For more information on imputation, see Appendix C, Accuracy of the Data.)